A DECISION to approve plans to build almost 200 homes on an historic patch of land on the outskirts of Inchinnan has been branded “a scandal” by community leaders.

The proposals by CALA Homes to develop 195 homes in North Barr, near Banchory Avenue, have been given the green light, despite thousands of objections from residents highlighting the site is believed to have hosted the Battle of Renfrew, fought in 1164.

Assessments by GUARD Archaeology concluded there was evidence to suggest the battle could have taken place there but, in its most recent survey, the firm said “no significant artefacts were discovered.”

Renfrewshire Council has said archaeological surveys will continue to be carried out by the developer throughout construction.

John Ross, chairman of Inchinnan Community Council, said his mind “boggled” at the decision.

He added: “This land is greenbelt and there has already been a lot of greenbelt used for housing in Erskine and Inchinnan.

“There are too many houses already in the area and I honestly think it’s an absolute scandal these plans have been passed, especially when the site has historical significance.”

Inchinnan Community Council formally objected to the development and sent a further 386 signed letters saying ‘no’ to the plans going ahead.

The Battle of Renfrew involved an army led by King Malcolm IV of Scotland being attacked by forces led by Somerled more than 850 years ago.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said: “I’m very disappointed to learn planning permission has been granted for this site. The houses will, very likely, be built over the Battle of Renfrew site – a battle of great importance.”

A council spokesman said: “GUARD Archaeology recommended the development proceed on the basis that any archaeology surviving on the site could be preserved by record, prior to development and where feasible.

“Archaeological monitoring of the area will continue to be carried out by the developer during the construction period.”